TWO rappers from Barrow are paving the way for musical talents of all backgrounds.

Josh Spedding, 24, and Josh Duncan, 24, have been writing and producing their own music for the past two years under the pseudonyms SWERVE and JD.

The pair, who have been friends for over 20 years, is in the process of releasing new music which they hope will provide a 'beacon of light' through this second lockdown.

Mr Duncan, who works at Go Ape in Grizedale, said: "Whilst SWERVE was making music in Barrow, I was at university in Preston not going to lectures and spending all my time writing hip hop music.

"I came home and showed him what I'd been writing and he said we had to spit these.

"And we finally had the confidence to stand in front of a camera and film one."

The duo said they enjoy the expressive nature of music which they write all themselves.

Mr Spedding said: "You can really express yourself with the music.

"You can have more of a slow beat which is more thought provoking and emotional.

"I produce the music and sometimes sing and JD writes all the lyrics and does the raps."

Mr Duncan added: "I thoroughly fall in love with the tempo and hitting the beat with the words.

"It's like weaving the literature together. It took me five years to get my GCSE English and now I'm throwing raps together in an hour." The pair is currently releasing music independently and has launched a campaign around tackling mental health through music.

"We're currently doing a big campaign to change perceptions and provide a beacon of light in the dark days of winter," Mr Duncan said.

"This is a project code named Behind Closed Doors and all the tracks are about mental health and stuff we've experienced.

"We want to change people's perceptions in talking about mental health."

Mr Spedding added: "We've both been dealt some difficult cards in earlier life and music has got us out of that spot - it's always there for us. We want to use this skill and talent we've gained to make music to help other people."

The pair want to bridge the gap between Barrow and opportunities for musicians.

Mr Duncan said: "Geographically we feel there is a massive disconnect with Barrow and the rest of the UK.

"There's plenty of great musicians but not much opportunity for these musicians.

"We want to change this culture around music and put our own spin on things with our Cumbrian twangs."

The duo's latest songs are available on all streaming platforms under the names SWERVE and JD.